This year’s Tesco Great School Run was the biggest and best yet, with over 1.2 million children taking part up and down the country – making it the UK’s biggest ever fun run.
More than 50 community fun runs, involving 4,900 schools throughout the UK, were organised as part of the event and even schools from as far afield as Australia and America joined in.
Now in its seventh year, the 2km Tesco Great School Run encourages children aged 5 – 11 and their parents to get fit and healthy through exercise and healthy eating.
The celebrity launch, hosted by sporting legend Colin Jackson and model Nell McAndrew, took place in Greenwich one of the London boroughs that will host the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
This was the curtain raiser for the dozens of events that followed at venues right across the UK – from Glasgow to Plymouth and Belfast to Brighton.
Events were even held across the globe with Brisbane Boys’ College in Australia and Peak to Peak Charter School in Colorado, the USA being the first international schools to take part.
Finale events took place in Glasgow, Manchester and Gateshead with thousands of schoolchildren taking part. The Sportscity venue in Manchester attracted 5,000 youngsters with Bellahouston Park in Glasgow welcoming 3,500 schoolchildren and Saltwell Park in Gateshead seeing crowds of 1,500.
Some schools enjoyed an extra special treat as part of their event when a helicopter took to the skies on 17 June for a whistle-stop tour of four locations across the UK. Celebrities Colin Jackson and Nell McAndrew touched down to a screaming welcome from more than 3,300 youngsters in Hull, Coventry, Oxford and Brighton.
The stars’ visit was to give encouragement to some of the young runners taking part in the Tesco Great School Run and to give some last-minute tips and advice.
But it’s safe to say that the real stars of this year’s event were the 1.2 million schoolchildren who pulled on their trainers and walked, jogged or ran the 2 kilometres with friends and families.
It’s hoped the event will help inspire a love of exercise and healthy lifestyles in these youngsters, which will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Entries for next year’s event are already flooding in and if you are keen to start planning your event you can register your school here.